The Most Delicious Ways To Use Banana Peppers, Ranked

If we're being completely honest, we think banana peppers are some of the most underrated peppers in the spice world. We get it; they're mild and tangy in flavor, and for some, they don't hold a candle to the amount of heat and boldness imparted by their jalapeño and habanero counterparts.

Still, it's worth mentioning that although we don't typically think of banana peppers as a go-to for robust heat and flavor, they're still a powerhouse in terms of versatility and imparting unique flavor to items, especially otherwise bland dishes that could use a tangy lift.

From daily food fare to uncommon yet appetizing eats, we've collected and ranked our favorite ways to use banana peppers. We're uncovering all the distinct and useful ways that you can turn both whole banana peppers, and those that already come sliced and jarred, into amazing homemade creations that will leave your palate singing.

13. Margaritas

Banana peppers and margaritas? Yep, you read it here, folks. You can actually make your own banana pepper margarita at home using only a few ingredients. This simple process may make for an unconventional drink, but if you're looking for a fun, tangy, and sweet way to spice up a traditional drink, adding banana peppers to the mix just might do the trick.

To pull this off, you'll need tequila, triple sec, lime juice, simple syrup, ice, and, of course, your banana peppers. Use a wooden spoon to combine or "smush" your banana peppers into a shaker along with your simple syrup. This will serve as the sweet and sour base. From there, add your tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and ice, and shake well. Strain the mixture into a glass and drink up.

Is this our absolute favorite way to use banana peppers? Probably not. Though effortlessly easy to achieve, the idea of a banana-peppered margarita is a far cry from the traditional strawberry or lime-flavored sip our taste buds are contentedly accustomed to. Still, if you're looking for a creative way to jazz things up and impress your friends, this delicious way to use banana peppers might just be worth trying out.

12. Banana pepper hot sauce

Another fun way to use banana peppers? Turn them into a hot sauce, of course! Banana peppers can make for an interestingly unique hot sauce, especially when compared to the red or green variety many of us are accustomed to. The best part about it is that it's easy to make at home; you'll just need to practice patience on this one, as it can take up to a month before it's ready for use.

To make banana pepper hot sauce, start with banana peppers (stems removed), a bit of granulated garlic (and whatever other seasonings you might want to add to your hot sauce), along with salt and water. Add enough peppers and garlic powder to fill a 32-ounce jar. Be sure to leave 20 percent space at the top. To this, add some salt along with water until the banana peppers are fully covered.

Seal your jar so that no air can get in and allow this to sit for about a month for all the flavors to develop. From there, you'll blend what's left of the banana peppers with a little of the water (about ¼-½ cup should be enough, depending on the consistency you're looking for). Add additional seasonings like salt and pepper to ensure it achieves the flavor you want. Keep refrigerated for several weeks to make for a tasty addition to tacos, wings, salads, pizza, or whatever else suits your cravings.

11. Unstuffed banana pepper dip

There's no doubt that stuffed banana peppers are one of our favorite ways to enjoy these spicy and vibrant colored eats, and don't worry, we've got the details for you later on for how you can create your own version of it at home. For now, we'd like to hone in on yet another way to satisfy your itch for the delightful sour banana pepper flavor, and that's to convert your typical stuffed banana peppers into a dip.

This is a quick, easy, and convenient way to wow guests at a party or to even selfishly wow yourself at home (no sharing required). To make banana pepper dip, you'll want to buy whole peppers, wash, and char (or roast) them. De-seed your cooked whole peppers and chop off the stems. Brown some Italian sausage (or another sausage of your choice) and throw in some onions and chopped garlic to amp the flavor a bit.

Chop your banana peppers and add them to the mix. Continue cooking until the banana peppers have softened. Add cheese, marinara, and another layer of cheese (if you please) before broiling the entire mixture for a minute or two or until hot and bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips or whatever else you'd love to use as a tasty dipping instrument. Enjoy!

10. Pickled banana peppers

Pickling peppers is an amazing way to release the natural flavors of these spicy and delicious eats, but not many know how to do it. When it comes to pickling banana peppers, the payoff is beyond rewarding, given that the vinegary and tangy taste this particular pepper releases is quite unique compared to other peppers.

Before we move forward, let's address the elephant in the room. Yes, we are aware that you can buy banana peppers already "pickled" in a jar at the grocery store. But will those really taste as good as the ones you pickle yourself? Not likely.

To pickle your own banana peppers, grab a clean, sterile jar. Remove the stems and slice your whole banana peppers into ¼-inch rounds until you are left with a bunch of banana pepper rings. Place the rings in your sterilized jar. On the stove, bring a pot of vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil. Pour the boiling mixture over your banana peppers. Make sure to leave about a ½ inch of space at the top before sealing the jar shut (a mistake you'll want to avoid is not leaving enough room at the top). That's it! Enjoy a jar of deliciously pickled pepper at home. You're welcome.

9. Fried pepper rings

What's better than pickling your peppers? Frying them, of course! Yes, you can actually fry up your jarred banana peppers, and trust us, the flavor is amazing. The great thing about this recipe is that it's easy to make and doesn't require a lot of equipment or ingredients.

To get started, simply heat some oil over the stove, about 1-inch deep. Make sure that the oil you're using is suitable for frying; canola oil, vegetable oil, or avocado oils can handle high heat and thus are ideal for frying banana peppers. While the oil is heating, combine flour and your choice of seasonings in a bag. Close the bag and shake well to ensure the spices and flour are well incorporated.

Coat your banana peppers in the mixture, making sure that the peppers are drained well before coating. Carefully lay each banana pepper in the oil, preferably using tongs, and fry until the banana peppers are golden brown. Remove the peppers and lay on a paper towel to allow for drainage. Once cool enough to handle, go ahead and chow down. Dip in ranch or sour cream for an added cool and creamy flavor.

8. Banana pepper chicken

Ready to move on from dips, drinks, and sauces to items with a little more sustenance? We hear you. While we love using banana peppers in fun oddball ways, we think banana peppers truly shine when they're used as a part of a full-on entrée. That's why we're so excited about the idea of turning the robust, vinegary flavor of banana peppers into a chicken entrée that we can enjoy for dinner.

We've stumbled upon a banana pepper recipe, and we must admit, we're in love. You only need chicken breasts, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and of course, banana peppers to re-create this recipe. Top it all off with mozzarella cheese and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (reserving the cheese for the last 10 minutes of baking), and that's that. You're in for a superstar of a dinner with little to no effort at all.

Our favorite thing about this dinner is that you don't have to use whole peppers to achieve it. Simply buy the jarred version of banana peppers to top your generously seasoned chicken portions and bake to release all the natural flavors of the banana peppers right on top of the breasts themselves. Don't forget to slice your chicken breasts to make them thinner. Doing so will ensure they get cooked all the way through in about 30-35 minutes. 

7. Burgers

Making burgers? If so, why not throw a few zesty banana peppers on top? Now, understand that not all burgers will benefit from the flavor profile that banana peppers offer. Because of that, it might be best to try making your burger Italian-style to get the full breadth and scope of how good banana peppers on burgers can actually be.

To make an Italian banana pepper burger, start with the traditional seasonings you'd usually use on your ground beef (salt, pepper, garlic, etc.) before adding a dash of your favorite Italian seasoning blend. From there, grill your burgers the way you normally would. Once finished, add a few slices of provolone cheese on top and melt away. Last, for a zippy finishing touch, hit it up with golden yellow jarred banana peppers.

Looking for added yum? Try adding a few slices of pepperoni under your cheese and banana peppers. Delicious.

6. Soup

Did you know you can use your banana peppers to make a mean banana pepper soup? It's true! There are a couple of variations of banana pepper soup we've seen across the net, but unstuffed banana pepper soup is our favorite.

To make unstuffed banana pepper soup, you only need a few ingredients. Start with some ground pork (or ground beef if you'd prefer it) and cook thoroughly. From there, add de-stemmed banana peppers along with your choice of veggies (red peppers and onion work well), and cook until the veggies are soft. To this mixture, you'll want to add some chicken or vegetable stock, along with a bit of flour and cream cheese to deliciously thicken things up. Season with Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and granulated garlic. For added heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Enjoy this tempting soup with crackers, tortilla chips, or a few pieces of crusty bread for a satisfying contrast in textures. Yum-o!

5. Stuffed banana peppers

Finally, the dish you've likely been waiting for: traditional stuffed banana peppers. Since this is one of our favorite ways to enjoy banana peppers, we had to rank it higher on the list than some of the other mentions presented to you thus far.

Stuffed banana peppers have a magical quality about them that are so satiating and satisfying to eat. From the umami flavor of the pork to the perfectly tangy taste of the banana pepper itself, stuffed banana peppers are a wonderful way to sneak banana peppers into your diet in a yummy way.

To make stuffed banana peppers, start by cooking up your meat. Feel free to use the meat of your choice, but traditionally, it is pork or ground beef that is most often used. From here, sliver your whole banana peppers and remove the seeds. Create a mixture with Italian sausage, pork, or ground beef that includes a bit of egg, cream cheese, garlic, Italian seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Stuff your peppers with the meat mixture, ensuring that you fill the peppers all the way up. Prepare a baking sheet with marinara sauce smeared along the bottom (a full jar will do). Place the stuffed peppers on top of the marinara sauce seam side down and pop into the oven for about an hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once finished, sprinkle the peppers with mozzarella cheese and finish baking for about 1-2 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

4. Mississippi pot roast

If you love a good pot roast, you'll love a Mississippi-style one. Not only can this recipe that normally uses pepperoncini be altered to use banana peppers instead, but the recipe itself is so easy that even the most inexperienced chef could pull it off.

First and foremost, let's review the difference between pepperoncini and banana peppers. Pepperoncinis (usually) have a bigger and bolder flavor than their banana pepper counterpart, and for this reason, many people like the mild flavor that banana peppers impart. In the case of a Mississippi pot roast, know that either will work just fine; however, some believe that the banana pepper slices (along with the juice of the peppers) work best when it comes to breaking down the meat, giving the pot roast that melt-in-your-mouth experience.

So. what else do you need to make this pot roast come alive? Grab a packet of au jus gravy along with a couple of packs of ranch seasoning mix. Add to that a pat of butter, and you're on your way to cooking up one of the best pot roasts you've ever tasted. Make sure to add a splash or two of that delicious banana pepper juice to the pot roast; its tangy taste really amplifies the flavors in this comforting regional dish.

3. Pizza

Adding banana peppers as a pizza topping isn't likely a shocker to anyone; however, when it comes to our favorite ways to use these mildly spicy peppers, topping pizzas is one of our favorites. Banana peppers add kick to already spicy sausage and pepperoni-topped pizzas. They also work well to amp up toppings that are milder, such as onions and mozzarella cheese.

While you could technically throw them on top of your pizza right from a jar, we usually recommend you toast the banana peppers atop your pizza the same way you might for any other topping. This takes a bit of the bite out of the peppers, and helps it meld more seamlessly with the other pizza ingredients.

Not into eating banana peppers on top of your pizza? No problem. You could also enjoy banana peppers as a side dish to your pizza. Papa John's knows all about this, as their pizzas often come with a complementary pepperoncini on the side — a close cousin to banana peppers, though they're a little stronger-tasting. Either way, give banana peppers a whirl on your next pizza adventure and let your taste buds decide if it's a fiery affair worth savoring.

2. Salad

Putting banana peppers in a salad is usually something you'll witness most often at Italian restaurants, but if we're completely honest, we love a good zesty banana pepper on almost any salad we consume. Still, we'll admit that the sweet and savory flavor — of Italian seasoning, fresh salami, and pepperoni all atop a crisp green salad sprinkled with mozzarella — does set up the perfect foundation for a hearty dose of tangy peppers.

As you'd probably imagine, adding banana peppers to your salad isn't hard. Simply toss them in the same way you would any other topping. We do want to mention that if your banana peppers are too wet, you'll want to be sure to blot them with a paper towel before putting them in. If you don't, you may risk wilting the lettuce and may even make the cheese, croutons, and other toppings mushy as a result of your zesty addition. Other than that, feel free to enjoy your banana peppers atop any salad you wish.

1. Subs

Yep, that's right. Subs have made our official top pick for the best ways to use banana peppers. Of course, not everyone loves banana peppers on their subs, and that's a-okay. As for us, we absolutely love the sour flavor of peppers lining our sandwiches, and this is true no matter where you get them made. Whether you frequent Subway or make your own melty Italian classic at home, know that banana peppers can provide subs with a zingy flavor you'll be hard-pressed to replicate using any other pepper type.

So how is a banana pepper sub best enjoyed? Any way you want it, really. Our favorite way to enjoy it is on a classic Italian sub. Take some soft hoagie bread and top it with yummy provolone and mozzarella cheese. Add some Italian meats like pepperoni, salami, pastrami, and even a few slices of turkey if you're so inclined. To this, add some Italian seasoning. Toast it until melted.

Now comes the real magic. Add to your sandwich some shredded lettuce, thinly sliced tomatoes, and of course, a hearty portion of banana peppers. Drizzle with a good Italian dressing and voilà. You've got a sandwich worth your bite. Grab some napkins and dig in!